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Thread: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems




  1. #1
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    Default GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    Hi guys,

    I've had this board and RAM for about a year now and it's never fully worked right.

    Here's my basic specs:

    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6
    CPU: Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 stepping
    <acronym title="Random Access Memory">RAM</acronym>: G.Skill DDR2-1000 4GB (2X2GB)
    Video: Visiontek Radeon 4870 512MB
    <acronym title="Power Supply Unit">PSU</acronym>: Corsair 620HX
    CPU Cooler: Thermaltake V1
    Case: Antec Super LANboy

    I am running 100% stock speeds - I can't even get this fully stable let alone trying OCing.

    The issue is basically that the system is highly unstable unless I use very particular BIOS versions and M.I.T page settings. Here's some of them:

    1. I can't run 1:1 at stock FSB (DDR2-533) using anything other than the very first F3 BIOS. Using anything after that where the System Memory Multiplier has the A B C and D straps causes massive instability, errors in Memtest, Windows fails to boot etc. This is *underclocking* the RAM from it's rating, I absolutely do not understand it. 2.00A should be the right SMM setting for 1:1 on a 266MHz bus, but it's completely unstable. Setting "2.00" on BIOS F3 (there are no A B C or D on that BIOS) is stable however. The only thing that is stable on the later BIOSes is the Auto setting, which puts it at DDR2-800 and a 2:3 divider.

    2. If I set the CPU Host Clock Control from Auto to absolutely ANYTHING, the system reboots multiple times during the POST and resets it back to Auto. Even just manually setting the bus to 266 causes it to do this. This is even more baffling to me than problem #1.

    I'm unclear as to what exactly my RAM should be running at when doing stock speed with the Q6600 for optimal performance etc. I'd read that 1:1 is best, but the system actually feels more responsive to me on the DDR2-800 Auto setting and I see higher FPS in games. I don't understand why though, because it seems like anything above the FSB (DDR2-533) shouldn't even make a difference.

    Thanks, really hope I can get this figured out - it's driving me nuts and I'd like to be able to try OCing the CPU.

  2. #2
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
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    Default Re: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    1:1 is a thing of the past for sure. Here is what I would suggest you use (With the latest BIOS) for your board. And ya know, those BIOS's where you mention a strap letter with the memory multi's you should also have the same multi's available to you without the letters as well

    Stock for your setup >>>

    Code:
    Robust Graphics Booster___________ [Auto]
    CPU Clock Ratio ____________ [9] 
    CPU Host Clock Control_ [Enabled]
    CPU Host Frequency (MHz)__________ [266] 
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ [100]
    C.I.A. 2__________________________ [Disabled]
    System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ [2.40B] =1066 (333 Strap) (2.40A 266 strap) 333 would be best and more stable at that ram speed
    
    DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]
    
    Performance Enhance = [Standard]
    
    CAS Latency Time________________ 5
    Dram RAS# to CAS# Delay_________ 5
    Dram RAS# Precharge Delay_______5
    Precharge Delay (tRAS)__________ 15
    
    Set to all highest below, then later lower one at a time testing with Memtest86+ (Must be this version 2.01) as you go >>>
    http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
    
    Hey, did you when you or have you lately tested these sticks one by one at stock speeds, timings and manually set voltages to be sure both are ok? If not you should always do on day one as you may have gotten sent a faulty stick of ram
    
    ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)_________3-4
    Rank Write to READ Delay________ 3-6 (9-11)
    Write to Precharge Delay_________ 4-6 (11-14)
    Refresh to ACT Delay______________ 52-62
    Read to Precharge Delay__________ 2-6
    Static tRead Value_______________7-10
    Static tRead Phase Adjust________ [Auto] << Always Auto
    
    System Voltage Control____ [Manual]
    DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.300V] = 2.1V (You can try 2.0 later once you are stable)
    
    PCI-E OverVoltage Control_ [+0.1V] << For stability
    FSB OverVoltage Control___ [+0.1V] << For stability
    (G)MCH OverVoltage Control [+0.2V - +0.3V] << Needed for stable 2x2GB
    CPU Voltage Control_______ [Auto]
    
    Limit CPUID Max. to 3.....................: [Disabled]
    No-Execute Memory Protect............: [Enabled]
    CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)................: [Disabled]
    C2/C2E State Support....................: [Disabled]
    x C4/C4E State Support..................: [Disabled]
    CPU Thermal Monitor 2(TM2) ...........: [Enabled]
    CPU EIST Function.........................: [Disabled]
    Virtualization Technology................: [Disabled] Enabled if you use Vmware/Virtual PC
    
    Integrated Peripherals
    Legacy USB Storage Detect___________________[Disabled] *Note* Must be enabled to flash from USB

  3. #3
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    Default Re: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    Wait, so you're saying I should run my RAM overclocked? It's rated by G.Skill for 1000, not 1066.

    This is the exact RAM: DDR2

    What benefit am I actually getting by not runing 1:1? I know I'd read stuff before that said all you're doing is using up more power and generating more heat by running it faster than the 1:1 MHz... Just seems really strange to me that it gets all unstable trying to run a lower than rated speed - shouldn't it be more stable that way?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    I just tried the settings you posted and it does not work - as soon as I set that CPU Host Clock Control setting from Auto to Manual & 266MHz it starts shutting off and rebooting at POST multiple times and ends up setting everything back to Auto on the M.I.T. page.

  5. #5
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
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    Default Re: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    Yes, it would likely run 1066 fine. Most ram will do far more then rated, if you would like 1000 settings let me know, you will have to change FSB and CPU multi for sure

    1:1 is a thing of the past as far as being better, it has nothing to do with power or heat.

    Hey, ya know I am glad you said that about 1066 it made me look! Sorry for sure, I gave you very incorrect settings! Had ram speed at 667 actually not 1066

    So sorry again, please try this for stock for your system , you did test each stick already by itself now right? >>>>

    Robust Graphics Booster___________ [Auto]
    CPU Clock Ratio ____________ [9]
    CPU Host Clock Control_ [Enabled]
    CPU Host Frequency (MHz)__________ [266]
    PCI Express Frequency (Mhz)_______ [100]
    C.I.A. 2__________________________ [Disabled]
    System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ [4.00B] =1066 (333 Strap) (4.00A 266 strap) 333 would be best and more stable at that ram speed, but you can also use a multi without a strap letter/symbol on it and it should be stable as well.

    If you do want 1000 ram speed you are going to need to run a different CPU speed as with 266 FSB no memory multi's make 1000

    DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]

    Performance Enhance = [Standard]

    CAS Latency Time________________ 5
    Dram RAS# to CAS# Delay_________ 5
    Dram RAS# Precharge Delay_______5
    Precharge Delay (tRAS)__________ 15

    Set to all highest below, then later lower one at a time testing with Memtest86+ (Must be this version 2.01) as you go >>>
    Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

    Hey, did you when you or have you lately tested these sticks one by one at stock speeds, timings and manually set voltages to be sure both are ok? If not you should always do on day one as you may have gotten sent a faulty stick of ram

    ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)_________3-4
    Rank Write to READ Delay________ 3-6 (9-11)
    Write to Precharge Delay_________ 4-6 (11-14)
    Refresh to ACT Delay______________ 52-62
    Read to Precharge Delay__________ 2-6
    Static tRead Value_______________7-10
    Static tRead Phase Adjust________ [Auto] << Always Auto

    System Voltage Control____ [Manual]
    DDR2 OverVoltage Control__ [+0.300V] = 2.1V (You can try 2.0 later once you are stable)

    PCI-E OverVoltage Control_ [+0.1V] << For stability
    FSB OverVoltage Control___ [+0.1V] << For stability
    (G)MCH OverVoltage Control [+0.2V - +0.3V] << Needed for stable 2x2GB
    CPU Voltage Control_______ [Auto]

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    There is no 4.00B strap available, nor are there any that don't have letters. When I tried the 4.00A one, the system rebooted twice and reset everything to Auto, just as I've been saying.

    Seriously - setting CPU Host Clock Control to Enabled, while not touching anything else at all (FSB is still at 266, exactly what it is when SMM is set to Auto) results in this rebooting stuff and it getting set back to Auto. Auto = completely stable, Manual = reboots. I don't understand it at all, I'm setting the clock to the same setting that Auto does, why should it suddenly become unstable?

    EDIT - I tried using all the settings you posted for timings and voltage and it does the same thing. The RAM is not bad, I've already RMAed it once.
    Last edited by Tabs; 11-03-2008 at 01:20 PM.

  7. #7
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
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    Default Re: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    There is 4.00B, sorry it is not noted that way in your board/BIOS. The 4.00B would be whatever is 4.00 on the 333/1333 strap on your board

    Have you tested this ram in another PC? I do not ask because of your issues here but you comment about having already RMA'd it once. A new set does not necessarily mean it is not DOA as well.

    Back to the Multi

    You should only see 4.00 memory multi's on these straps>>>>

    A (266/1066 Strap)
    C (200/800 Strap)
    B (333/1333 Strap)

    Here is a layout of all the Straps (Second image is just examples of said Multi in use) >>>




    Ahd here is how they are labeled in some P35 boards along with many links explaining them >>>
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/f69/p35-...49/#post248340

    Try this for your ram settings to see if for sure there is a ram issue or not as these are very loose and should boot no matter what unless you need more Vcore or something else >>>

    System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ [4.00A] 4.00A is a pretty tight strap.

    Or use this for 885 (Your best bet is to overclock so you can get past all this as your ram may not do 1066 it may be binned to barely test and pass at 1000)
    System Memory Multiplier (SPD)____ [3.33C] =885


    DRAM Timing Selectable_______ SPD __ [Manual]

    Performance Enhance = [Standard]

    CAS Latency Time________________ 5
    Dram RAS# to CAS# Delay_________ 5
    Dram RAS# Precharge Delay_______5
    Precharge Delay (tRAS)__________ 18

    ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD)_________5
    Rank Write to READ Delay________ 12
    Write to Precharge Delay_________ 14
    Refresh to ACT Delay______________ 68
    Read to Precharge Delay__________ 6
    Static tRead Value_______________12
    Static tRead Phase Adjust________ [Auto] << Always Auto
    Last edited by Lsdmeasap; 11-03-2008 at 03:57 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    Ok, maybe I'm not explaining this clearly enough:

    Everything on M.I.T. page set to Auto for the CPU and RAM stuff = system boots showing 266FSB and 800MHz RAM speed.

    Set CPU Host Clock Control to Manual and frequency to 266 while leaving everything else at the exact same Auto setting = system reboots twice and resets the Host Clock Control and Frequency to Auto.

    How could that possibly be when the Auto setting is the exact same 266MHz that I'm entering in? I think this board is bugged man.

    The RAM works fine at 1066 in my roommate's ASUS P5Q w/E8500, just tried it.

  9. #9
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
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    Default Re: GA-X38-DQ6 + G.Skill DDR2-1000 bizarre stability problems

    Sounds like it may be then, as that should not matter like you say. Sorry, I musta missed what you meant about that

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